Tell us about yourself and your current role: Where are you from? What do you do?
I’m a fifth generation Texan, so moving to New York city for a career in advertising was huge. But it was and still is the place to go if you want to be in this business. I’m a partner at the ad agency IPNY focusing on art direction. We work on complicated categories such as financial services, healthcare (in particular hospital/medical centers) and the nonprofit sectors, delivering communications that are creatively relevant and measurable. My background before being a business owner, ranged from working at a large agency like Ogilvy, to a small boutique shop like Janklow Bender and LGFE. It’s important to work at a range of agencies because larger ones expose you to big brands and worldwide approaches, while smaller ones teach you to be quick on your feet and wear many hats.
How would you describe the culture of New York City?
The culture in New York is all about diversity. Almost any night of the week you can see opera at the Met or find a small intimate jazz club. Not to mention the food! I think New York has the best restuarants in this country, probably the world. There is a good restaurant within any 3 block radius. And no matter what kind of art interests you, it’s here. The amount and quality of museums are astounding.
In what ways does the city or its culture inspire you and your work?
The city inspires me every day. If you’re ever in a rut, hop on a subway where you can explore new places and interact with different people. The city is home to the most fascinating, diverse population you can imagine. I love imagining what everyone’s story is and how accepting most are of each other. Just walking down a street will ignite your sense of design and color and each block is different. And if you want to see the newest trends, stop by the MOMA or the Whitney.
What is the best incentive that NYC offers agencies?
The culture and the diversity of talent. It’s a great proving ground for talent. If you can make it here you can make it anywhere - that is not a cliché.
Could you offer any advice to young talent heading to work in NYC?
Be persistent about getting into a good agency. That first job will determine what path you take as a creative. Always work on your book, sometimes new work can be a great excuse for getting another interview at your favorite agency.
Why should young talents and industry leaders come to NYC? What is the best part of working in NYC?
Everything is here. Even if your stay is only a couple of years, it completes your resume. The best part of working in NYC is that it is never boring. Want to change things up? Move to a different neighborhood.
If you had to choose, what is your favorite hidden-gem in NYC?
My favorite hidden-gem of NYC is the people. They are so interesting and come from all over the world. The diversity and intelligence of the people you meet is life changing.